Thursday, April 06, 2006
In the noisy argument over what to do about illegal immigrants, the common assumption is that America has done a great deal for them already. The question now is what more should we give them? Do we give them a green card? Grant them amnesty? Or stop all this "generosity" and send them packing. No one speaks of what illegal immigrants have done for us. It occurs to me that I have not yet heard two relevant words spoken. If you'll allow me, i'll speak them now....
(Best read aloud)
Thank you for turning on our sprinklers.
Thank you for cleaning our swimming pools and scrambling the eggs and doing the dishes.
Thank you for making the bed.
Thank you for getting the children up and ready for school.
Thank you for picking them up from school.
Thank you for caring for our dying parents....
Thank you for plucking dead chickens.
Thank you for bending your bodies over our fields.
Thank you for breathing in chemicals and absorbing chemicals into your bodies.
Thank for for the lettuce and the spinach and the artichokes and the esparagus and the cauliflower.
the tomatoes and the garlic.
Thank you for the apricots and the peaches and the apples and the melons and the plumbs and the almonds and the grapes.
Thank you for the willow trees and the roses.
And the winter lawn.
Thank you for scraping and painting and roofing and cleaning out the asbestos. and the mold.
Thank you for your stoicism and your eager hands.
Thank you for all the young men on rooftops in the summer.
Thank you for cleaning the toilets
and the showers
and the restaurant kitchens
and the schools
and the office buildings
and the airports
and the malls.
Thank you for washing the car. Thank you for washing all of the cars.
Thank you for your parents who died young and had nothing to bequeath to their children but the memory of work.
(image couresy Steve Breen)